President Donald Trump contended Thursday that he faces no pressure to strike a trade deal with China as Washington and Beijing exchange shots in a mounting trade conflict.
The comment followed reports saying the U.S. is in the early stages of proposing a new round of trade talks with China. The two sides aim to strike an agreement and stop a trade war threatening to stifle growth in the world's two largest economies.
In a tweet Thursday, Trump played down the need for discussions, saying "we are under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us." He wrote that the U.S. "will soon be taking in Billions in Tariffs & making products at home."
The reports of potential talks come as an escalating tariff fight threatens to ensnare more American companies, including behemoth Apple. The U.S. and China have already slapped tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods coming from the other trading partner.
Trump is considering whether to put duties on an additional $200 billion in Chinese products. He recently said he is "ready to go" on additional tariffs on $267 billion in goods. China has threatened to retaliate in kind.
Trump won the White House in 2016 partly on his pledges to crack down on abusive trade practices and renegotiate agreements to secure American jobs and boost wages. While Republicans and Democrats alike have cheered Trump's efforts to go after alleged intellectual property theft by Chinese companies, bipartisan lawmakers have raised fears about a trade war damaging the U.S. economy and farmers in particular.
Businesses concerned about Trump's trade policies have also mounted opposition to them.
Tariffs also pose political risks for Trump ahead of November's critical midterm elections, as his Republican Party tries to hold its majorities in the House and Senate. Tariffs are unpopular in multiple states where key races will take place in November.